A man has gifted his former teacher $A32,000 after learning the 77-year-old had been living in his car since resigning last year.
Steven Nava, 21, from California, describes Jose Villarrue, also known as 'Mr V', as a "great, funny and helpful educator and substitute teacher".
Mr Nava explained in a TikTok video that he recently ran into his former substitute teacher living rough and decided to help him out.
He gave Mr V some essentials and took him out for breakfast before announcing online he would be raising money to surprise the former teacher.
"He’s struggled with getting back on his feet after the pandemic hit and has been living in his car ever since despite the brutal weather and living conditions," Mr Nava explained in a GoFundMe he created for Mr V.
A few days later, Mr Nava shared another TikTok explaining that he had taken Mr V out for food and booked him a hotel for the rest of the month.
Mr Nava said he received a call from Mr V afterwards, wishing his former student a happy birthday.
"He called me earlier today as I was driving and then wished me a happy birthday.. he really remembered," Mr Nava wrote on TikTok.
"I completely lost it after I hung up. I love him like the grandpa I never had."
Mr V told Fox11 he resigned as a substitute amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"I decided the school situation has changed completely and I believed that a job of a substitute was over," he said.
"In May, I submitted my resignation. I managed to do all of the paperwork, all of the arrangements to get my pension. I got my check, but that check didn't last long because I had debts already."
Im visiting Mr.V right now and he had a couple words to say, thank you guys for helping me turn his life around the right direction. He has no idea what’s in store for tomorrow 😭☺️LETS MAKE TOMORROW MEMORABLE! pic.twitter.com/HoXVdFwQiK
— stvnna ⚡️ (@thesteven7) March 11, 2021
"I have families, not one family but families to help in Mexico, and so most of the money that I make was going and keeps going there," he said in a video shared to Mr Nava's Twitter.
Fronting the media with Mr Nava by his side, he was presented with a cheque for $A$32,000.
"The greatest feeling that I have right now is like an obligation that I need to do a lot for the world and the greatest feeling is I can do it and I'm going to find a way to do it," Mr V said after receiving the money.
The initial fundraiser has closed, however a new one has been established.
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